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How to create a Hot-key Photoshop Action

A short tutorial on how to create and record an "Action" in Adobe Photoshop.

Available only in the full version of PhotoShop, the Actions palette was first introduced in version 4.0. An Action is a macro recording/editing/playback feature which lets you capture specific commands and sequences of events that you might frequently use in PhotoShop.

For example, certain early model digital cameras needed some consistent basic color corrections, such as described in the D1 Colors and D30 Colors articles located in this site. By recording an Action, you can simply and quickly repeat the same process time after time with a simple keystroke.

Creating a new Action

You'll find the Actions section next to the History tab. (As shown.)

Click on "Create new action".

Selecting a hot key

A "New Action" information box will pop up.

Type in the label of your choice. (I picked "D30 Color Correction")

Choose any function key from the drop-down choices. This will give you a one stroke hot-key to play the action.

Then click on the "Record" button.

Recording the Action

Go through the selective color adjustment procedures outlined in the first section.

The first step is shown at left. Follow this with the other adjustment.

Click on "OK" when you've finished both selective color adjustment steps.

Stopping the recording

Now click on the "Stop playing/recording" button as shown at left.

That's it.

Your new Action is in place, permanently recorded for ease of use.

To "play" the action, you can simply hit the hot-key (function key) chosen, or go to the Actions tab and click on the play arrow. (The right arrow symbol.)

I prefer the hot-key (in this example the F12 key), because it's so fast & easy to use.